There are a lot of reasons I love being a pastor.
I love talking about Jesus.
I love helping people become who God created them to be.
And I’ve really started to love baptisms.
We do baptisms about four times a year at our church. After each service everyone gathers in the courtyard to see men, women, teenagers, children and families publicly proclaim their faith through baptism. I knew that I would love talking about Jesus as a pastor, but I didn’t expect that I would love baptisms as much as I do.
Baptism really is an end and a beginning.
Symbolically it’s the end of our old lives and the beginning of our lives with Jesus. We have been buried with Christ in his death and resurrected with him in new life. Baptism provides a beautiful image of our old lives ending and our new lives beginning.
Unfortunately, even though we’ve been given a new life, we often go crawling back to the old. Jesus’s death on the cross provides an end to our sinful life and the beginning of our new lives. Sometimes, though, the sinful life that ended tempts us back. Like Odysseus’s sirens, the life that ended wants us to come back to it, even though we know it only leads to death.
Remembering our baptism is a great way to remember the end of our sinful lives. When our sinful lives are singing their song, we can remember descending into the water like Jesus descended into the grave. We can remember that our sin is buried with Jesus and the Holy Spirit empowers us to live a new life. Instead of listening to the sirens’ song of our sin, we can listen to the direction and guidance of the God’s still small voice.
Maybe that’s why I love baptism so much: it’s a reminder to me of my own baptism. It’s a reminder that my old life ended and my new life began because of Jesus’s death and resurrection. Every time I push someone down into the water and bring them back up, I’m reminded of my own death and rebirth in Christ.
It’s a beautiful image and one in which I am extremely grateful to participate.
I also get to wear my board shorts at church, which is a lot of fun.
How does baptism encourage you?